To say it has been a long week would be an understatement. Last Sunday, jet lagged (very jet lagged) and happy, I landed at St Louis Lambert Airport, found where my husband had left the car on his way to California, and headed home to sleep. Monday morning was the technology rebellion, but by 3pm I was on my way to recovery. Tuesday was spent trying to tackle the (I’m not making this up) 163 new email messages I received on Sunday and Monday, and Wednesday was recording, paperwork, and herding of cats colleagues. Yesterday was student presentations in my physical sciences for elementary education majors (they had some of the cutest projects – mouse trap cars and trebuchets all dolled up and fully able to accomplish their goals). Today was supposed to be my first day not in catchup mode, and I almost succeeded in catching up. Almost. I think all I really succeeded in doing was not getting further behind. The whole “earthquake at 4:39 am” thing wasn’t how I would have chosen to start my day, and the 10:15 aftershock really didn’t help my mood. For whatever reason, I am simply, irrationally, frozen in place by Earthquakes.
We all have those things that a horse person would say, “Put us off our feed.” Some people can’t watch horror movies (I also can’t do that), and others can’t deal with snakes (not a problem for me – I like them). There is something in the human psyche that remembers what it was like to be a pack animal in the Serengeti, and in the recesses of the soul we know to fear snakes, and mangled bodies, and, well, the quaking Earth. Just as we crave the company of others – we desire a pack – we instinctually run from the “other” and the “unknown.”Â¬â€ It is hard being an animal, and I have always loved that in Dune they define “human” as being the one who is able to overcome their animal instincts.
Waking up at 4:39am, my blood icy as I felt the house shake and heard the windows rattle, I was pure animal, locked in the headlights of oncoming Earth-tremors like a frog in a flashlight beam. I was thinking, “I should get up and get in the doorway – this floor is 115 years old and creaks when I walk. I don’t want to fall into the first floor.” At the same time, both the good and bad angle’s of my mind were screaming in my ears with twin primal screams and I couldn’t move.
Stupid, irrational, primal stupid fear.
But I’m okay. The house is okay (well, at least it is no more less okay then it was yesterday – it is still 115 years old!). The dogs are okay. All is good.